Usually I leave a political rant for midnight after a couple of wines but today I’m feeling mighty and powerful. It’s 10am and my Korean cleaners are here, I’ve locked myself in my home office, trying to hide from their perpetual requests to raise the price on the fortnightly cleaning fee and their constant wonder at how 7 people can create so much mess. If I have to answer the question of “why do we have to tidy up for the cleaners” one more time, it is likely that I will lose my mind (anyone else in this boat?).
Ok so here we go. This week two of my four eligible school aged children were denied a free bus pass (K-2 are issued a free pass no matter where they live). I know, first world problem, but I know I’m not alone here and like many of you, I am outraged.
With a State Election coming up, you would think the State Government would be doing all it can to appease its constituents, especially with the sentiment being directed at the Liberal Party in general. But no, the bureaucrats are winning with mindless and pointless rules and regulations. By the time I have finished arguing with them, it will have been cheaper for them to give my kids a bus pass because I’m not letting this one go.
Like many others who have been denied bus passes in our area, we live too close to school. We are within the 2.4km zone ‘as the bird flies’. Last time I checked, my kids weren’t birds and had no way of flying to school (who puts a circle around a school and says anyone within this area can walk home, or pay?).
I wrote a letter explaining the exceptional circumstances of the youngest needing a chaperone incase he loses it in an asthmatic haze. I pushed the point of the second child having a weird intolerance/allergy thingy to grass. In return they have requested a medical certificate to prove he’s dodgy. The appointment with an allergist would cost me $150 alone with no guarantee of getting a bus pass valued at $240. Madness.
We live 2.2kms from school and it’s an EPIC walk because we live in a place aptly named THE HILLS. Yes, loads of HILLS! The State Government expect my 2 eldest primary school students aged only 8 and 10 to take a 2.2km walk home past some dodgy housing, up a few hills, cross main roads with no crossings, all by themselves whilst their severely asthmatic 4.5 years old sibling catches a bus home unaccompanied. Needless to say, what if something happened to them on their on the journey home? Can I blame Premier Baird?
This same Government would charge me for negligent parenting if I left my kids at home alone, if I left them in a hot car with no one in it. I am no helicopter parent but I don’t let these kids go to the toilet at Castle Towers on their own so I’m sure as hell not taking the Government’s advice and letting them walk 2.2km home alone.
Sure I can pay $1.20 per child per day for them to get home but why are we bearing the cost of a small bus trip when other kids who live 200metres down the road get one for free? At a cost of $480 per annum for the two eldest children, this isn’t a small amount either. I don’t get anything from the Government, never have, is a bus pass too much to ask for?
Sure, I can pick them up from school like many other parents do but they’ve been on the bus for three years, it’s convenient, they love it, it gives them just the round amount of independence and it allows me just the perfect amount of time to get home from work commitments to be there for their arrival. I am sure many parents picking up from school aren’t doing it by choice, they possibly don’t have a bus service running past their house.
I understand the Government’s need to be realistic on costs but if we cut just a few of those scamming welfare and put it back into our kids, we would be able to give every child in a state a free bus pass. Surely every student in the state is entitled to free travel to and from school? The irony being that if we changed schools, the kids would be entitled to a bus pass, even in high school.
I’m all for Hills Bus making money. In fact, without a Government issued pass I can understand why they wouldn’t be able to run the service. This is not the fault of Hills Bus, it’s the State Government and their red tape.
I know I’m not the only person in this position, there are hundreds of other parents whose kids have been denied for various reasons. I do wonder if our friends at A Current Affair would like to take this one up…….just saying!
Remember, be kind!